What is mobile security to you? You hear people talk about security on PCs and laptops, but what about the new wave of technology that is taking over the corporate world? Smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices are becoming more prevalent and sometimes even our main communication tools. We plan, organize, work, and input all of our data on these devices as we do with PCs and laptops. We are moving to a mobile age, and may soon be working solely with mobile devices instead of our standard PCs and laptops.
What do you keep on your phone? How do you keep it secure? I’ll provide some statistics from Consumer Reports to give you a better idea of mobile security today. Over 39% of the more than 100 million Americans fail to take even minimal efforts to protect their smartphone and their data; 64% don't even have a simple screen lock, 69% do not back up data, 79% have yet to install an app to locate a missing phone, and 92% have not installed an app to remotely wipe data in case of loss or theft.
Most of us feel pretty comfortable in the fact that we take and keep our phones close by anywhere, but in the past year alone over 7.1 million smart phones were irreparably damaged, lost, or stolen and never recovered. Now that you've got a number to associate with the problem, imagine how much data you store on your phone. What could a malicious user possibly learn from you if your device was lost or stolen? Bank account transactions and passwords? Contact and location information? Personal emails and access to social mediums? We store about as much information as we do in our mobile devices, if not more, than our PCs or laptops. So now you may be asking what steps you should take to make sure your mobile devices are safe and secure.
Create a secure password instead of using the default security locks on the phone.
It takes almost no effort at all to crack a 4 number password combination or other security measure on a smart phone. You need to make sure if you want to stay secure you'll need a stronger security lock password.
Stay cautious of mobile purchases when Wi-Fi is on.
When roaming with your Wi-Fi on your smart phone or mobile device, it will automatically connect with any Wi-Fi in range and without an encryption password. If you decide to use your phone while connected you could be vulnerable to other users on that network. Even worse, a malicious individual could host a wireless connection point and make "false" websites to most popular banking websites, Facebook, and other sites you may enter personal data in. Making sure you are connected to a secure and trustable Wi-Fi network is essential to your mobile security.
Keep your phone locked when you’re not using it.
This may seem like a no brainer, but many of us may often forget to lock our mobile devices and if someone picked it up the secure passcode would be useless.
Make sure you download apps that are reputable and watch for those that have been known to carry malware.
Malware is becoming a larger issue on mobile phones. Just like any other device, you can infect your mobile device just as simply as downloading an app with malicious code. With access to all of your data, passwords, and even location there is nothing a malicious individual couldn't find out. 30% of users using PCs and laptops have malicious programs or malware on them, and while 5% of mobile users doesn't seem like much, it is still cause for caution. A lot of antivirus and security companies are developing apps to protect your phone also.
Remember to download any manufacturer’s updates to your device in a timely way.
When you download the latest updates for your devices you are protecting yourself from any vulnerabilities or bugs in the software that could be a security risk for you. Usually before you update it will often tell you what it is fixing in your mobile device.
Learn how to read and understand Terms of Service and Permission Agreement screens.
This is important when downloading applications onto your mobile device. What does this app do, what does it need to access on the phone, and why does it need to access the things it needs? These are all questions you should ask when agreeing to let the application use most of the services or data you have accompanied with your mobile device. You may be sharing more data with companies you use than you realize. Location tracking is a service that a lot of mobile apps use on your phone even if it isn't necessarily needed.
Only make financial transactions on secured sites.
This is also something that you probably already look for when using PCs and laptops, and just as important on your mobile device. It is much easier to make purchases from anywhere and anytime with our mobile devices, but using unsecured sites or malicious sites while roaming is always something you need to watch out for.
These are just a few scenarios you can look at to better secure yourself in the ever encompassing mobile world. There are applications out there that secure our devices and more and more are developed each day. If you would like additional information about mobile security in the corporate environment you can contact us at 1-800-723-5353. Talk to our representatives today and learn how you can keep your mobile life secure!